The Trend Report™: Super Stans
A look at neo gay boy stan video culture and understanding why the strawberry smoothie chair is beyond the current trends.
The Mask-Mandate Debate Is Back.
Just wear a mask when you’re inside or in heavily populated environments. It’s that simple.
Why are fully vaccinated people testing positive for Covid?
I’m Vaccinated. Should I Worry About the Delta Variant?
...because vaccines work but they’re not a silver bullet and things are still spreading? I’m not a doctor but.
Pandemic Aid Spurs a Record Drop in Poverty
Huh. You give people money and they can live their life. Who knew. Huh.
Return to Office Hits a Snag: Young Resisters
Surprise!!! Advocating for yourself? In this socioeconomic capitalist health crisis nightmare we call America? You don’t say!
Reckoning on racist team names
If you missed it, the formerly racist Cleveland team name has been updated to the “Cleveland Guardians.” This story explains all the work that goes into getting a team to change their name.
Will drought, climate change feed extremism in the West?
The answer is yes. It also reminds of the book Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo, which cited the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a classic contemporary example of raging white male mediocrity coming to a head.
Climate Crisis Turns World’s Subways Into Flood Zones
we just can’t win
Toyota Led on Clean Cars. Now Critics Say It Works to Delay Them.
Even the people who make “good cars” are bad! All cars are bad!!!!
More people got help & fewer were hospitalized
From what? From a pilot program in New York City where mental health professionals instead of police were called to scenes of distress. Huh. Would you look at that!
Simone Biles controversy, explained
can y’all just let Simone live her life
Last week we talked about the queerness underlying “the chaos edit,” this week we’re talking about a related trend that more directly remixes and rehashes pop starlets that queer persons (Namely gay boys.) are obsessed with.
The style of video sees literal images of pop starlets animated like paper dolls with sound bites from their songs used to construct a story and dialogue. It’s very clever, undoubtedly the product of gay boredom, and is best manifested by the YouTube channel Darianas Eggs, with “Nicki Minaj Is Sick” being their magnum opus. The videos build upon what digital creators like Lee Dawson, the editors behind UNHhhh, and The Nekci Menij Show have been building for almost a decade, an Internet queer sensibility that uses feminity, drag, and pop stardom as a way into and around culture.
What’s interesting about these videos is, while once housed within the walls of YouTube, they’re now breaking out and evolving in ways that see this style of video taking on new forms on new platforms. Turning Cardi B into Spongebob, turning pop stars into a multiverse, using singular stars like Beyoncé as muses before goingveryviral with a re-edit: these are a few examples of the evolution of this. It’s only by coincidence that all this happens to be trending in parallel with #FreeBritney.
Unlike the searching for the self being shared with “chaos” edits, these videos are more about adoring pop’s biggest badass women for being pop’s biggest badass women via the stan filter. The same reason why I used to pick Cammy in Street Fighter is the same reasons these videos exist – but instead of letting the love go when the game is over, these stans craft meticulous alternate universes with the tools at their disposal, cutting and pasting songs and videos and press photos to create elaborate plays.
These videos have yet to have a major breakout moment and, given the success of some of these accounts, they’re going to crossover at some point, acknowledged by a major pop star in a major way – and then brands will get in on this style of making. Such is our cycle of culture.
The Innovations of Pandemic-Era Sex
I love this story on queer sex and creativity, how sexual innovation has always been a hallmark of those who do not have hetero or normative or heteronormative sex. These times have greatly manifested this.
Here’s a strange short story I wrote that was supposed to come out literally a year ago but is finally finding itself online now. Enjoy it! Gay men are definitely weird and maybe bad!
A great series of essays about how young people interact with technology, all from their perspective.
a $3 million pile of mud, forced to close after just two days
Loving the saga of this attraction in London that landed so, so terribly.
The return of Latina
My mom loved Latina and I’m intrigued by its comeback! And, speaking of comebacks, Gawker has returned.
Murder Charge After Man Shaken as Baby Dies at 35
This story is wild, and recalls the “shaking baby” hysteria of the nineties.
Here's What 19 Olympic Athletes Do As Their Day Jobs
My friend Kate and I were talking this week, watching some synchronized diving event, and we both were curious what “professional” niche athletes do for money. As this article shows, most Olympians are...normal people with boring jobs.
“art used to be an Olympic sport”
Is Jeff Bezos An Astronaut?
Very good science subtweet of billionaires, who are not astronauts: the (new) technical term for intergalactic tourists as such is a “spacer.”
"Not Disney saying ScarJo tried to exploit pandemic!!!!!!!"
The Scarlett Johansson versus Disney saga is so great because it even further proof that Scarlett is a monster.
"Wet Hot American Summer came out 20 years ago today"
Some director’s commentary of the film, from the director’s TikTok.
Adam Driver Becomes a Sexy Centaur
What’s up with humans becoming animals this week? The media just awarded many a mythological animal fetishist a gift this week.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the viral strawberry smoothie chair as I’ve been seeing a lot of puffy-but-not furniture pop up in my feed. It’s kinda cool! But it’s also ridiculous. But it’s cool! But it’s ridiculous.
For context: Gen Z and Millennials are all about thrifting, which has evolved shitty-but-well-intentioned concepts like upcycling from “Look at my purse! It’s made of bottle caps :)” to “literally i reconstructed an outfit out of clothing scraps.” Upcycling, redesigning discarded goods into high-end items, is the new norm. The younger generation has cracked a code that non-creative recyclers were unable to figure out.
So why is this? Why is the viral strawberry chair, and other upcycled creations, taking off? The answer is both obvious and not: the influence – and collision of – fine art with low art. The strawberry chair is directly influenced and inspired by the work of Katie Stout, an artist known for using materials from her studio and turning them into puffypink beauties. Stout’s work is at the intersection of craft, clay, and Memphis, a playful design style from the seventies and eighties which became an interior design fixation thanks to that one wobbly mirror.
The strawberry smoothie chair takes the same aesthetic style that artists like Stout have popularized but makes it accessible, using materials you can find at a hardware store so you don’t have to literally bake a chair in a kiln like a fine artist. The larger trend, which is not new at all, is using fine art to make interiors shine. The difference is access and that, unlike fine artists who require specific materials, people at home and on TikTok are reimagining both the extent of materials and the ways in which we can reimagine unloved objects. Paint a chair into a Helen Frankenthaler dream!Turn a table into a neo-Kandinsky-via-Basquiat treat!Iron plastic bags into a Barbara Kruger gem!
The strawberry smoothie chair is a breakthrough for upcycling and, truly, is well done – but it’s not happening in a vacuum. As we keep discussing, creative culture now is less about having one influence but about having an intersection of influences. This is just the latest example of pastiche culture plays breakthrough.
“Bunny is a rider”
"was gonna post this meme"
“Bunny Is A Rider” and Caroline Polachek are the new chaos edit meme de jour for the queers.
"Or maybe it was two weeks."
"it takes forever 😭"
“Ahead of the curve once again.”
"When it’s time to feed your donkeys"
Reba’s also having a moment with the queers – and she’s even participating in it!
“that one lady”
"that one lady all over my fyp"
This tia – Cristobal Leyva – is having a moment with everyone for months now, and she’s about to pop off the TikTok universe.
“i’m starting a collection”
“non-binary people look like this”
Pronouns and enby identities are also having an LOL moment too!
"ma’am, this is not how @zillow works."
She can be your Zillow fantasy.
“meet the ladybug that changed me”
I was trying to describe this to someone this week and they didn’t believe me so watch this woman rehabilitate a ladybug.
"when microwaves gaslight you"
michael waves are wild
"what my friends send me at 3am"
need me some friends like that
"doing the fuck out of chucky hair"
This fucking Tweet was made for me.
"obsessed with the memes my Indian restaurant posts"
The only memes that matter.
"He said what he said!"
Really powerful words about ghosts.
“they scattered like roaches”
poor kids :(
A mega round-up of excellent misspellings.
And, finally, me rn.
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